Buoyed by a series of scripting languages (PHP and MySQL), WordPress is the most popular open-source blogging tool and content management system (CMS) that has significantly revolutionized the way high-traffic websites, personal blogs and applications are created and managed. This mesmerizing content management system provides countless tools and capabilities to build professional, fully-functional websites, whether it is for e-commerce stores or professional business websites.
According to WordPress, there are around 60 million users, who have chosen WordPress platform for their mission-critical website. Being flexible in orientation, it supports smorgasbord of plugins and themes that expand its capabilities and customize its appearance. The vast library of plugins gives flexibility to clients to do what they exactly want to do. For example: creating image sliders, enhancing site security, building forms, or analyzing onsite SEO, and the good news is WordPress holds the capabilities to meet these specific requirements. Moreover, most of these plugins are available for free.
Plugins: To pump-up the functionality of the WordPress sites, plugins plays a fundamental role. Plugins are small open source software that can be uploaded (no hard-core technical knowledge is required) on WP site to achieve the aimed objective.
Let us take a glance at some of the most critical plugins that can add value to your online marketing campaign:
Content Aware Sidebars (CAS): Those, who have used other CMS platforms like Drupal, Magento and Joomla, know how important is to allocate widgets to requisite webpages or posts. The best thing is, this can be done with WordPress in an outclass way. In this regard, Content Aware Sidebars plugin comes into picture. It ensures optimal website performance and boosts SEO efforts by allowing users (no coding knowledge required) to have complete control of the content and context of the sidebars. It enables users to create as many custom sidebars as they wish. These sidebars can be further allocated to posts, categories, author, date, search results, languages, pages, and the list goes on. To put it simply, CAS provides functionality to create a virtual widget area that prudently replaces the real widget area for the specified pages.
Enhanced Text Widget (ETW):
BackupBuddy: It is a holistic, must-have backup plugin that every business will need. If you have a website, you need to perform backup of the same at a regular interval of time, or else, be ready to face the repercussions of data loss. Before taking a backup of databases, files, or folders – it is necessary to ensure the accuracy, speed and authenticity of the backup program. Herein, BackupBuddy overshadows the other backup solutions with its hundreds of useful features. It enables users to take complete or partial backup of your WP site including plugins and core WordPress. Digging more into its capabilities, it also gives you flexibility to schedule automated backups, store backup’s offsite, and restore promptly and easily. This is not where the benefit of BackupBuddy foils up, it goes even beyond allowing you to store files at various locations, such as local hosting, FTP, and BackupBuddy Stash.
WordPress SEO by Yoast: Pronounced as the best plugin for onsite SEO optimization, it allows optimizing your mission-critical website. It provides a web host with complete control of the Meta descriptions, page titles, tagged pages and other resources, so that you can reap out the best from your online business. It encompasses a plethora of useful features like 301 redirection and rules setup for search engine robots like index, and do-follow and no-follow links. Adding more to it, with this plugin you can do real time content analysis, and even customize descriptions for Facebook and Google+, if in case you do not wish to use default Meta description field.
And, here is the jackpot – with WordPress SEO by Yoast, you don’t have to worry about rel = canonical tag. Wondering why? This amazing plugin does this task for you by automatically adding it to each of the pages and posts, which means it sheds of your worries with respect to duplicate content that is due to variations in dynamic URL strings.
Visual Composer for WordPress
Visual composer plays an indispensable role in enhancing your website’s layout and appearance. Most users are not too tech-savvy, thus, are unaware of the coding languages such as HTML and CSS. It allows you to work with any WP theme of your choice. This is where visual composer, a page building plugin, helps users by modifying the default page of WordPress into exuberant feature-rich editor, which consecutively adds convenience of adding columns, image galleries, accordions, call-to-action buttons, tour sections, and videos, and the list goes on.
It is observed that sometime webmasters fail to monitor the broken links present on their mission-critical website, which ultimately takes the page ranking down. When a user visits a webpage and sees a 404 error, it irritates them and they would never want to return your website again. Even Google do not give rank to a 404 page. Here, 404 Redirected plugin will enable webmasters to see all URLs which return 404 errors so that they can ‘301 redirect’ to functional pages on your website.
WordPress offers hundreds of plugins to its users, and it is really difficult to sum up all in just one post. I will try covering other plugins in my next post.
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Let us know what plugins you use and do share your experiences?